Dhinakaran denied all charges and vowed to fight the case legally.
New Delhi: The Delhi police booked on Monday Sasikala’s nephew and AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials for the erstwhile AIADMK’s election symbol.
The police said he was trying for his faction the “two leaves” symbol in a by-election to the R.K. Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu. Sasikala’s faction had adopted the “hat” symbol after the EC froze the AIADMK’s “two leaves” symbol acknowledging a split in the party.
The FIR was lodged after the police arrested a middleman, Sukesh Chandrasekhar, from a five-star hotel in Delhi on Sunday. The police also recovered from him `1.30 crore and two cars — a BMW and a Mercedes. The police said the cash was to be used to bribe EC officials.
Mr Dhinakaran denied all charges and vowed to fight the case legally. He also denied having known Chandrasekhar at all.
The police is probing Chandrasekhar’s links with EC officials. “It has been learnt that Chandrasekhar had struck a deal of Rs 50 crore for helping the Sasikala faction keep the ‘two leaves’ symbol,” said a police official.
DCP (crime) Madhur Verma said that Chandrasekhar said during interrogation that he was in touch with Mr Dhinakaran and had assured him that he could get the frozen symbol for the bypoll.
“Dinakaran is in Tamil Nadu and summons will be sent to him to join the probe. We have evidence that the money belongs to his faction of the party,” said another police official.
The police said that Chandrasekhar was a master conman who had duped close to 100 people across the country of crores of rupees by posing as a relative of leading politicians. He had earlier been arrested in connection with a scam in the Bengaluru development authority. “He lives a lavish lifestyle, using his ill-gotten wealth to buy luxury cars like Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Maserati, and expensive watches,” said the official.
“He was produced before a magistrate who remanded him into eight days of police custody,” said Mr Verma.
The bypoll was scheduled for April 12, but the EC recently cancelled it, saying the electoral process had been “seriously vitiated” by parties through use of money power. The bypoll was necessitated following the death of then chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.